Endometriosis: What You Can Do to Prevent It

A recent study of Italian women uncovered a link between a woman’s diet and her odds of eventually suffering from endometriosis, a painful disease that affects the ability to conceive. Researchers found women who ate more fresh fruit and green vegetables had a lower risk of endometriosis. Conversely, women who eat red meat increased their odds.

The study compared the diets, medical history, lifestyle and reproductive history of 500 Italian women who suffer from endometriosis with an equal number who had no history of the disease. Physicians were particularly interested in the diet history of the women polled, asking about portion sizes and the frequency of selected dietary items, including sources of carotenoids in the Italian diet, and alcohol and coffee consumption.

Can your diet effect your chances of getting Endometriosis?

  • After dividing their intake into portions, researchers found the risk of endometriosis dropped by 40 percent when women ate more green vegetables and fresh fruit.
  • Those who ate high amounts of red meat, beef and ham increased their risk between 80-100 percent.
  • Scientists found no significant link between the consumption of milk, liver, carrots, cheese, fish, whole grains, coffee or alcohol.
  • Also no association with butter, margarine, or oil.

Because endometriosis affects 5 percent of Italian women, scientists believe they could cut the incidence of the disease by 1 to 2 percent and that could mean up to 200,000 fewer cases in Italy alone. Taking Europe into consideration, researchers estimate, that number could jump to 800,000 cases.

Researchers believe the links between the consumption of meat, vegetables and meat wasn’t a fluke because they analyzed several items. Nevertheless, they theorized the higher intake of green vegetables, fruit and fish could be general indicators of healthier lifestyles, meaning women who monitored their health are putting themselves at less risk for endometriosis.

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